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Intel X25-V SSD 40Gb – Raid 0 performance review

The X25-V SSD is built on a 34nm process but when compared to the X25-M only has five flash chips onboard, which is half the amount. This means it can only utilise half of the controller’s ten memory channels which therefore relates to a lower overall level of performance.

Model X25-M Gen 2 (34nm)
X25-V (34nm)
Capacity 80 & 160gb 40gb
Controller Intel PC29A521BA0 Intel PC29A521BA0
Cache 32mb 32mb
Max Sequential reads 250 mb/s 170 mb/s
Max Sequential writes 70 mb/s (80GB)100mbs (160GB) 35 mb/s
Read Latency 65 µs 65 µs
Write Latency 85 µs 110 µs
Max 4KB read IOPS 35,000 25,000
Max 4k write IOPS 6,600 (80GB)

8,600 (160GB)

Power consumption (idle) 150 mw 150 mw
Power consumption (load) 75 mw 75 mw
Warranty 3 years 3 years

As the table above shows, the V model’s maximum sustained read speed is 32% slower than the X25-M which is actually rather impressive considering the stripped down nature of the drive. The write speed figures are a little cause for concern to be honest because we back into mechanical speeds with 35 mb/s. This is not the biggest concern however as the V also has significantly lower ratings for both 3kb random read and writes which can often translate into sluggish real world performance.

Intel’s official power consumption figures above also seem a little higher than we would expect for a unit with half the flash chips. We would therefore take a guess that the controller is taking most of the power requirement.

We received two of the drives for review and they are supplied in very ‘Intel Corporate’ designed boxes, pretty much what we would expect … clean and sharp.

Inside, the drives are enclosed in protective cardboard with a mini manual, mini CD and a black sticker which says “My SSD rocks”. We kid you not, wear it with pride.

This is basically the same bundle supplied with the more expensive Intel drives. No corners cut with the extras at least.

The drives themselves are identical to the more expensive models with the surround black rubberised outline being a very distinctive Intel design ethic.

An upclose shot of the ‘plain and traditionally’ designed Intel SSD. The drive measures 9.5mm due to the black spacers on the top side, the unit itself however is only 6.5mm deep.

The underside of the drives with Sata and power connectors. No I don’t have sweaty hands, our samples clearly haven’t been polished to the same level as the retail versions available in stores.

Intel also supply a 3.5 inch bay rack for easier adoption into a desktop PC chassis – mounting screws are also in the bundle.

The Intel X25-V takes many of the positive aspects of the drives from the second generation flagship SSD’s. There is garbage collection and wear leveling encorporated as well as native support for the TRIM command which is built into Windows 7. There is also a handy SSD Optimiser application which can be used in Windows XP or Vista to help perform routine flash maintenance. While Windows 7 is still ideal for an SSD, it is nice to see a little extra thought going into the design to help people who have yet to upgrade (or don’t want to).

This Optimiser application can be set to start automatically on a pre defined schedule, such as overnight when you aren’t using the computer. It can also be run manually however Intel do state that when it runs, computer use should be kept to a minimum – as it only lasts a few minutes its not a massive headache.

Intel offer a 3 year warranty with the drive, which is sure to bring peace of mind to any prospective customer.

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